I think there was a good-omen sighting at Wrigley Field today. It's the top of the ninth with the Cubs up 4-1. After getting two quick outs, the new Cubs closer LaTroy Hawkins, has just given up back-to-back singles bringing the tying run to the plate. Yep, none other than Mr. Cub-killer himself, Rob Mackowiak is at the plate. I'm sure I don't have to remind you how this guy was a one-man wrecking crew last weekend as the Cubs lost 3 out of 4.
So it seems to me that if all the naysayers and doom-n-gloom spreaders [in other words, most of the folks in attendance at Wrigley lately] that have been so prevalent these last few weeks are right in their thinking that once again we were just being teased in the off-season and the baseball gods would never let the Cubs win it all... then clearly, the only possible outcome here would be a 3-run homer by Mackowiak that would not only tie the game, but waste another fine pitching effort from a Cubs starter (Maddux), and doom Hawkin's chance to be the closer before he even started - not to mention sending the ol' blood pressure up another notch or two.
Instead, Hawkins strikes out Mackowiak on three pitches. If that's not a good omen, I don't know what is.
Hey, I don't expect the Cubs to go 107-0 the rest of the way. And it would be ridiculous to suggest this is the turning point of a World-Series winning season -- I'm not that naive nor that melodramatic. It's only one strikeout, it's only one save, and it's only one game. Still, it was only one foul ball late last year and look what havoc that wreaked, real and perceived. I guess all I'm saying is it's about time that one little thing went the Cubs' way.
Oh yeah, and good pitching almost always* beats good hitting. Assuming Wood comes back in a couple weeks no worse for the wear, that means that once again, Clement/Maddux/Zambrano [pick one] is the 5th starter. 5th! Man, I haven't seen a starting rotation like that since Palmer, Cuellar, McNally and Dobson.
*unless of course, it's the 1971 World Series and you're up against the Pittsburgh Pirates led by my baseball and personal hero, the incomparable Roberto Clemente. ĦArriba!
Sunday, June 6: BP-19 [W-16,S-3], Roof-0, Foul-1 [W-1,S-0], HR-0
Season: BP-341 [W-227,S-114], Roof-12 [A-10,C-2], Foul-3 [W-1,S-2], HR-27 [W-25,S-2]